How We Advise and Why
How to sum up our business model at Journey Wealth Partners? It’s personal and powerful.
We not only act in your best interest, but also want to change the world. If you are like most people, you probably assume all financial advisors have to act in each client’s best interest. Many do, but they don’t have to. Lots of the name-brand big brokerage firms hire armies of lobbyists to make sure this is not going to become written into the Department of Labor’s regulations.
You would think acting in a client’s best interest is good business. We do. Plus, we never have discretion or custody of our clients’ assets because we don’t want to be in control of your money. We want you to get the most out of your hard-earned income and assets.
To see if an advisor is required to always act in your best interest, ask them to send you their ADV (a regulatory document). If they don’t have one, ask them to put it in writing that they are a fiduciary.
Also, ask if they are a fee–only or fee–based firm. It’s a critical distinction. Journey is a fee-only firm, so our sole source of revenue is the fees we charge clients for our financial planning and investment management services. In order to fulfill our fiduciary duty, we chose to be a registered investment advisory firm and CFP® Certificants, which obligates us to put our clients’ best interest first and make recommendations accordingly. Living it is what motivates us every day — and allows us to sleep like babies at night.
Fee-based firms, on the other hand, can earn money through commissions on product sales. This may create pressure to meet their quotas by selling certain investments such as annuities or higher-fee mutual funds and insurance. Their first master is their firm; clients are second.
A Smarter Way Forward
Picking winning stocks or trying to time the market? Outperforming the market quarter by quarter or year by year?
If an advisor tells you they know what is going to happen in the market in the next day, week, quarter or year, run for the exit. At Journey, we leave prognostication and impossible promises to others. Instead, we deal with the proven reality of how markets behave: They go up and go down, and no one can predict precisely when.
As a result, we make recommendations based on decades of academic and empirical evidence produced by Nobel Prize-winning economists and gathered across time periods and markets from around the world. We also adhere to the latest best practices in planning, investing, behavioral economics and even our security and privacy policies.
Our investment philosophy is a great example of our evidence-based approach to our work. Learn about it here.
We Are in the Boat Together
We work with successful independent thinkers who value proven strategies and smart execution. It requires a willingness to share your personal aspirations (and financial data) … an appetite to learn, grow and take action … the humility to test what you think you know … the resolve to execute with discipline … and the courage to acknowledge uncomfortable emotions.
Full disclosure: Formulating and executing a successful wealth management plan takes time and your engagement. In the beginning, you should expect to meet with us five or six times, face-to-face or via Skype. Subsequently, we will meet as often as necessary to solve challenges and discuss opportunities.
Each year, you will receive a completely updated and personalized plan. After all, as any pilot knows, getting from “A” to “B” is never a straight line — and you will need to make important course corrections along the way. Throughout our relationship, we will ask that you keep us informed of any changes that could have a significant impact personally, professionally or financially, so we can do our best to have you land safely and comfortably.
Not everyone can make this kind of commitment.
The Results Are In
If you are ready to get serious about optimizing what you can control in your financial life, see the results of our investment recommendations and gain a deeper understanding of how and why the strategy works. Contact us if you are motivated or curious.
- Foundations of Factor Investing – This research insight from MSCI Research Index Inc. (owed by Blackrock) provides a succinct compendium of the research that we follow. Reasonable (and brilliant) people can and do disagree on implementation of these strategies. We have hitched our pony to the most rigorously tested factor investing strategies.
- What You Need To Know About The Fiduciary Standard
- Before the Advice, Check Out the Adviser: This New York Times article raises questions about whether the investment advice you’re receiving is actually in your best interest.